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February 18, 2022

This week’s update includes information on how the increased gathering limits will affect proceedings, details regarding our Community Viewing Site in Truro and more information about what to expect from a public inquiry.

Update on attending public proceedings

The Commission’s 2022 public proceedings will begin on February 22, 2022. Based on new COVID-19 health guidelines that came into affect in Nova Scotia on February 14, 2022, we are making adjustments to who can attend our proceedings locations in-person.

Halifax Convention Centre: Under the new gathering limits, we are able to safely host all Participants, Participant Counsel and Commission team members working with the proceedings at the Halifax Convention Centre (HCC). While members of the general public are not able to attend proceedings in-person at HCC at this time, we hope to be able to welcome more people soon as the Province continues to ease gathering limits. We will work with the venue to expand the set-up of the proceeding room based on any changes as quickly as possible. Similarly, if we have to move to a virtual scenario, we will provide updates. We will also continue to work with the media to ensure there is coverage of proceedings from the HCC. Our media protocols are available on our website as well as a form to apply for media accreditation.

Truro Community Viewing Site: For each day there is a proceeding being held in Halifax, there will be a Community Viewing Site located in Truro where members of the public will have an accessible place to sit and watch the live webcast of the proceedings. We are able to start welcoming community members right away starting February 22, 2022 (first day of proceedings). Note: Registration and proof of vaccination is required in advance. For more details including location information, read our Community Notice.

COVID-19: Proof of vaccination will be required for anyone taking part in person at the HCC or at the Community Viewing Site in Truro. We will not copy or retain anyone’s proof of vaccination but will record that it has been provided so you are not required to produce it each time you attend the venue. Mask and proof of vaccination requirements will remain in place as outlined by the Province’s re-opening plan. We will continue to monitor the guidelines set by the Province, and will provide updates should these requirements change.

Dates and Times: During the first week there will be two days of proceedings (Tuesday, February 22 and Wednesday, February 23). We have updated the proceedings calendar on our website to include information about these first two days. We will update the calendar as our work continues and send out regular updates. Generally, Commission proceedings will take place Monday to Thursday between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm ADT, with a 60-minute break for lunch. There will be breaks throughout the proceedings schedule, with one scheduled in mid-March.

Webcast: As originally planned, the public proceedings will be available through a live webcast. Webcast videos will also be available to watch. Later (each proceeding day will be posted on the website).

Phone Line: If you are unable to access the website, you can listen to proceedings live by calling 1-877-385-4099 and entering code 1742076, followed by the # sign.

About public inquiries

As we approach public proceedings, we would like to highlight the differences between a public inquiry like the Mass Casualty Commission and a trial.

In a criminal or civil trial, the facts are established with the purpose of assigning blame or awarding damages. The parties conduct separate investigations into an event, and they present their cases in front of a judge who has no prior knowledge of the event. Both sides are cross-examined, and ultimately a judge will decide who is guilty or who deserves compensation.

A public inquiry establishes facts not to assign blame, but to explore what happened and recommend changes so that changes can be made to improve systems or policies for the future. In the case of our work, we will explore the causes, context and circumstances giving rise to the April 2020 mass casualty so that we can deliver recommendations to help make communities safer in the future.

Share Your Experience

We know the scale of the loss and trauma caused by the mass casualty is broad and has affected the sense of safety for many people in our communities, province, country and beyond. It is important for the Commission to capture the far-reaching and ongoing effects to help inform and shape the findings and recommendations to help keep communities safer. We are inviting people to share their experience, either via our survey or directly. Find more information on our website.

Mental Health & Wellness

We will be sharing a considerable amount of information with the public in 2022 through proceedings, Foundational Documents and Commissioned Reports. The nature of this inquiry means that much of the information will be difficult. We encourage everyone who is engaged in or following our work to consider how to prepare to receive this information.

If you are struggling in any way and would like help finding mental health or any wellness support, you can call 2-1-1 or visit their website. 211 offers 24/7 navigational assistance in over 100 languages. Their trained staff will be able to connect you directly to the right services for your needs. You can call for yourself or if you have concerns or questions about support for someone else.

If you are experiencing distress or overwhelming emotions at any time, you can call the Nova Scotia Provincial Crisis Line 24/7 at 1-888-429-8167. You do not have to be in a crisis to call and nothing is too big or too small a reason to reach out.

The Kids Help Phone can also provide confidential support at 1-800-668-6868 or Text CONNECT to 686868.

A list of mental health and wellness supports can also be found on our website.

Ongoing Updates

If you know others interested in receiving these updates, please point them to the sign-up link on our homepage or email us directly. We also encourage you to pass along how people can take part and prepare to share their experiences and perspectives. We welcome hearing from you anytime via email to or by calling either 902-407-7532 (local) or 1-833-635-2501 (toll-free). We are also constantly sharing updates about how to take part via our website, Facebook and Twitter.


The Mass Casualty Commission

Hon. J. Michael MacDonald, Chair

Leanne J. Fitch (Ret. Police Chief, M.O.M.)

Dr. Kim Stanton

Content Warning: The following video contains scenes including the discharging of firearms causing death. There is a “quick exit” button at the top of the website if you need it, and Wellness Supports are also listed.

Some of the information within this website may be disturbing or upsetting for some visitors. This website deals with information about events that include gun and other violence, including gender-based violence and intimate partner violence. If you need to leave at any point, there is a “quick exit” button at the top of the website. This website also includes some suggested resources, should you be in need of support.

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